Announcement on Federal Bureau of Investigation director not for now: White House

Trump calls naming of special counsel a 'witch hunt' | Bangkok Post: news

On the other hand, Fox News anchor and former defense attorney Gregg Jarrett points to another possible conflict of interest Mueller may have: his past working relationship with former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Jim Comey - the man President Trump fired just two weeks ago.

The New York Times reported today that Trump told Russian diplomats in the Oval Office that Comey's firing had relieved pressure on the White House amid the ongoing Russia investigation.

If the White House couldn't get Mueller removed, they'd use the rule to cast doubt on his impartiality, according to Reuters:"Under this strategy, the sources said the administration would raise the issue in press conferences and public statements", Julia Edwards Ainsley reported.

The New York Times cited an unnamed United States official as its source for receiving the comments, which had been taken down in notes summarizing the meeting. It said the paper was based on notes taken during the meeting inside the Oval Office.

He was also said to have told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak that "I'm not under investigation".

Contacted by the Times, White House press secretary Sean Spice did not deny Trump had made the statements, saying Comey's "grandstanding and politicizing" of the Russian Federation probe had put "unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation". Trump has denied that ever happened.

U.S. President Donald Trump stops to give a thumbs up as he departs the White House to embark on a trip to the Middle East and Europe, in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2017.

President Trump fired Comey last week, setting off a political firestorm that included allegations that he is trying to influence the federal investigation into alleged collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

The surprise announcement to hand the probe over to Mueller, a lawman with deep bipartisan respect, was a striking shift for Trump's Justice Department, which had resisted increasingly loud calls from Democrats for an outside prosecutor. One official read quotations to The Times, and a second official confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.

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In a written statement, Trump insisted anew there were no nefarious ties between his campaign and Russian Federation.

The White House repeated its assertion that a "thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity". "I look forward to this matter concluding quickly".

The President also reiterated that he was not personally under investigation.

In the days after Comey's firing, some lawmakers, former Justice officials and people who knew Rosenstein wondered if he had been forced to write the politically charged memo for Trump. "It makes it very clear that what Donald Trump was trying to do was to end the Russian investigation".

Former FBI director James Comey told associates Trump asked him to shut down an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Among Trump's senior White House advisers are several former campaign officials, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Kellyanne Conway. During a commencement address Wednesday at the Coast Guard Academy, he complained bitterly about criticism he's faced.

Trump and the White House have offered multiple, inconsistent motivations for Comey's early dismissal.

Trump admitted last week that he fired Comey in part because of the Russian Federation investigation, blowing up the White House message that the firing was based on a Department of Justice recommendation.

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